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The Malanga Fritters Recipe You Didn't Know You Needed

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Frituritas de malanga or malanga fritters are a delicious and crispy treat made with malanga root, a starchy vegetable also known as taro. Malanga or Taro is believed to be one of the earliest cultivated plants. Frituritas de malanga are one of my favorite Cuban dishes. It makes for a great appetizer. As a child, I vividly recall my dad grating the slippery malanga, while I anxiously watched. My mom would allow me to add the salt. My special task was to mash the garlic in a wooden mortar and pestle. As I got older, I was able to complete the recipe from start to finish, and I would savor the first bite of the first malanga fritter straight out of the pan. All my desires and cravings satisfied in an instant. Here is my dad’s simple recipe for making delicious frituras de malanga.


4 cups grated malanga root (taro)

1 shallot, finely chopped

5 cloves garlic, mashed with mortar and pestle or garlic press

2 teaspoons salt (adjust to taste)


1 tablespoon parsley

1 large egg, beaten

Your favorite oil, for frying


Step One: Prep

  • Wash and peel the malanga root, then grate it using a box grater or a food processor with a grating attachment. Place the grated malanga in a large bowl.

Step Two: Adorn the malanga

  • Add the chopped shallot, minced garlic, salt, and parsley to the bowl with the grated malanga.

  • Stir the mixture until all the ingredients are well combined. The mixture will be wet and slightly sticky.

  • Now, add the beaten egg to the mixture, using it as a binding agent. Mix everything thoroughly to form a thick and cohesive batter.

Step Three: Let’s get frying

  • Heat oil in a deep skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. The oil should be hot enough to sizzle when you drop a small amount of batter into it.

  • Using a spoon or your hands, take small portions of the malanga batter and shape them into small patties or balls.

  • Carefully place the malanga fritters into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry them in batches if necessary.

  • Fry the fritters until they turn golden brown and crispy on all sides. This will take about 2-3 minutes per side.

Step Four: Prepare yourself to eat!

  • Once the fritters are cooked, remove them from the oil and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.

  • Serve the malanga fritters hot as a tasty snack or appetizer on your favorite decorative serving platter.

Here’s a pro-tip, you can also accompany them with a dipping sauce of your choice, such as garlic aioli, sweet chili sauce, or mango chutney. I personally like them naked, but to each their own.

Enjoy your homemade malanga fritters! A little taste of Cuba.

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